Sunday, January 25, 2015

Icebreaker Indoor Marathon Relay

time - 2:42:50
average team pace of 6:13
placed 2nd in our division (mixed) out of 33
placed 12th overall out of 81 teams

let's assess the body... shall we?

starting at the bottom:  my left calf is unusually sore, both quads are sore, right hamstring is also unusually sore, most abdominals (top and bottom) are sore, upper and lower back muscles are sore.  right now as i lay here in bed at 6:41am that's the assessment.

later i will roll out the calf and the hammy.  those are the most worrisome to me.  i was going to run today and i still might.  i just might do it on the dreadmill so that i can completely control the environment.

why is my body so sore you might ask?  well... yesterday i had the pleasure of running my very FIRST EVER indoor marathon relay race!  i will admit that i agreed to do it on a whim... much like when i agreed to run ragnar last year.  my friend josh over at there's always someone faster hit me up on facebook and said his team needed a 4th.  i was hesitant at first because i know how i feel about running at the pettit and the idea of running a marathon relay at the pettit didn't sound all that fun.  the pettit is milwaukee's own nationally recognized indoor ice rink.  we have a track there that is 433 meters in size so it's about 3.6 laps to a mile.  i ran there quite a bit last winter when the weather prevented me from running outside.  it is not my favorite.  so i thought about it a little bit and then figured... what the hell... why not?  so i joined the team.

the very next day i saw my physical therapist and he asked me to stop running for a week.  i've been having this hip thing ever since that chiropractor at north face laid his hands on me and i want to get in front of it for my 2015 running season.  i've been having some pain (minimal) when i run, but my fear is that it will ramp up with my increased mileage so i thought i should figure it out before that happens.  you know...  be proactive and stuff.  so i see this new physical therapist and right after i commit to run this relay he asks me to stop running.  of course is said no.  so my pt does some magical mumbo jumbo with his hands and i went on my way.  i ran the whole next week to the tune of 30ish miles.  the following week (last week) i didn't run at all.  so the 5 days leading up to the relay i didn't run not one mile.  i did, however, have a lovely visit with dr. roberts where he dry needled my hip in two different trigger points that are giving me trouble.  um... let's just say that while dry needling is helping... it absolutely blows.  it is very very uncomfortable.  it isn't painful exactly... but it's something that i have to consciously breath through in order to manage.  it's tough.

when race day came i was still feeling quite anxious about it.  i have some odd social anxiety and since i didn't know the people i was running with i felt a little weird about that too.  i mean... i know josh from the internets, but i had never met him in person.  the other two men i had only had brief conversations with on facebook.  i am a huge fan of fake it till you make it tho' and i persevered.

i arrived at the pettit's very full parking lot just before noon.  the race was to start at 1pm.  got my car parked and went inside.  i looked around and called josh but didn't get an answer so i figured i'd just keep looking and that's when i saw my friend sree.  it was awesome to see a friendly face!  he introduced me to his team and we chatted for a bit.  he gave me some pointers and that's when i spotted josh and ryan walking towards me out of the crowd.  i waved and when they reached me we shook hands very formal like.

we stood around for awhile and tried to figure out what our game plan would be.  where we should post up our things and so on... we also got more tips from sree.  he's full of tips.  we decided to just drop our stuff where we were as we were standing on the rubber mats and that would be warmer than the concrete.  the pettit center is regulated at near 50 degrees (felt so much colder) because it's an ice skating rink.  most people standing around are wearing their winter coats, hats, and gloves.  it's cold in there!  so we posted up and that's when jerry showed up.  our team was complete.  we watched the finish of the half marathon that was currently going on and then it was time to warm up.  i was really cold.  i ran about 4 laps as a warm up and then we planned our strategy.  we decided we would run 2 laps and then switch and if that wasn't working out we'd change up our strategy.  we figured that the 2 laps would work tho' because we could sprint the whole time and our downtime from running would be minimal.  the hope was that we'd not have enough time to get cold.  i was up first.

all the first runners started milling towards the starting line.  as i was heading there i noticed that there were a lot of people going the wrong way past me but who am i to tell someone they're going the wrong way?  so i just kept going and lamented the fact that i couldn't wear headphones.  the good part about that is i was only running 2 laps so there'd be no time for music anyhow...  i got my garmin set and waited to be told to go.

the starting line looked nothing like this.  in fact... it was really crowded and i was concerned that i was going to be slower because of it.  when you're in a sprinting situation that's the last thing you want... to be held up even for a fraction of a second.  i was relieved when the gun went off and everyone moved rather quickly and spread out.  the track is only 3 lanes wide so its not like there's a whole lot of room to move when there's a cluster.  the starting line looked more like this herd of cattle with less dust, horns, and hooves.  

to be honest... i was pretty focused and i ended up going out too fast.  everyone was so focused that very few people were talking to each other.  there were some runners that were practically walking so i'm not sure what the strategy was there except maybe to finish?  i ran my first lap in 1:38 and when i hit my garmin to count the next lap i TURNED IT OFF! ugh... so i have no idea what my second lap was.  after that i didn't bother with the garmin because i decided that running that fast was going to be challenge enough.  i didn't want to throw trying to manage my garmin in the mix as well.  i'm a little disappointed that i didn't just start my garmin up again at my next laps.  i have no idea what i was running and i'd really love to know.  i'm weird like that.

i had no idea how hard it would be to run as fast as you can 11 times.  it was really really challenging.  my right hamstring started seizing up about 1/2 way through.  i think because it was so cold in there and i couldn't keep my muscles warm.  i kept trying to stretch and keep warm but i never really warmed up.  there was around 6-7 minutes of down time between each of my runs, but after my warm up i never really got warm again.  after the first few laps i felt like i was getting slower and slower.  my legs felt heavier and it felt like it was harder to push through.  we stayed pretty consistently at 12-13th place the whole race tho' and ended up finishing 2nd in our division.

we had a very cohesive team dynamic and it felt very natural.  those guys are great!  our team was because ryan put it together and we were running for the business.  we had matching shirts and everything!  it was awesome.  we communicated well and executed our plan perfectly.  if i had to do it again i would love to do it with these guys!  everyone brought their A-game and worked their asses off.  100% was left on the track as it should be.  i couldn't have asked for a better team.  it was so much fun.  i didn't think it would be fun and i'm really happy to report that the time flew by quickly.  i even saw a bunch of other people that i knew which made it all the more special.  i saw sun from who's team won in their division!  congratulations sun!  great job out there.  you looked amazing and strong.  as i mentioned earlier i saw sree.  i also saw my friends jeni, denny, natalie, miranda, and shawn.  i'm not sure if i'm forgetting anyone... there were so many people there!  i'm definitely walking away with a great experience under my belt.  would i do it again?  i'm not sure.  as of right now... probably not.  i really don't like being cold.  i loathe it... and i can't figure out how to stay warm with the strategy that we used.  i suppose if i wore more clothing but that might pose a problem while running.  i don't know.  i guess i'll leave it at maybe.  maybe i'd do it again... under the right circumstances.  it was a lot of fun and the time flew by.  it was really really challenging but i am always up for a challenge.  i enjoy seeing what my body can do.

it's really cool to see everyone's varying perspectives on the same race.  while we were all in it together our experiences were a little bit different.  

the very first lap

this is what my face looked like for pretty
much the whole race... painful.


Josh said...

HAHA... I wish I'd been wearing a suit for our formal handshake! Thanks for joining us and nice job yesterday! I hope the soreness subsides soon. I'm feeling it mostly in my calves (especially my right one), occasionally in some of the small, hidden muscles in the quads, and occasionally in the muscles in the bottom of my feet. I do a lot of interval work on stairs, so I felt comfortable with turning this race into a series of hard intervals; however, this was totally different yet just as challenging as any hard workout I do. But probably way more fun since it wasn't just me in a stairwell by myself.

nikki said...

we should all have been wearing suits for our formal handshake! you guys carried us! i was just the filler! thanks for asking me. i had a lot of fun. it was a great way to spend the day. it taught me that i should probably be doing some interval training. hahah!

Sun said...

It was great seeing you at the race on Saturday! I'm glad you had fun doing the race with your team - you were cruising the times I saw you running around the track! Congrats on your team's 2nd place finish :)

nikki said...

thanks sun!